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Latin American artists fetch high prices at US auction



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NEW YORK, Nov 16 (AFP) - Chilean artist Roberto Matta's vibrant work led an auction of Latin American paintings in New York that sold for a total of nine million dollars, auction house Christie's said on Wednesday.

Matta's "Watchman, What of the Night?", a mural painted in 1968 with explosive yellow, green and red colors, sold at Tuesday evening's auction for 990,400 dollars, well above its previous estimated value of some 500,000 to 700,000 dollars, according to Christie's.

Colombian artist Fernando Botero's work "Junta militar", painted in 1973, fetched 912,000 dollars and Brazilian painter Candido Portinari's "Tocador de trompeta" sold for 721,600. The sale represented the highest value ever for a Portinari artwork at an auction.

Among the Latin American artists featured in the auction were Rufino Tamayo of Mexico, Argentine Alfredo Guttero, Mira Schendel of Brazil and Venezuelan Jesus Rafael Solo.

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COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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